The August 28th launch of Guild Wars 2 is quickly approaching. Will it be the next big thing, or get off to a fast start only to suffer a retention drop like so many others? This week Guild Wars 2 loremasters Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb decided to tackle the issue of how to get players emotionally invested in the game to keep them coming back for more.

Ree: I think one of the first things any game has to do is to encourage the player to connect with their avatar in the game. In order to get the player to invest in the game world and think of the NPCs as compelling characters, the player has to think their own character is interesting and worth spending time with.

Grubb tends to agree.

Jeff: Yeah, it really does start with the player’s avatar, with their character in the game. You have to like yourself in order to like the greater world. And one of the challenges I see for creators in an MMO is that you want the character to be as accessible as possible to a variety of players, without making them bland and forgettable.

People are equally repelled by viewpoint characters that have no substance and by those whose entire development is mapped out step by step—you aren’t playing a character so much as following a well-trod road of others.

Grubb and Soesbee go on to talk about finding that sweet spot middle ground, and how the team is crafting characters, story and visualizations to help get players emotionally invested in Guild Wars 2 and identify with their avatars and the world. Check out the ArenaNet website for more from Guild Wars 2's dynamic lore duo.

Source: Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee on Creating the Emotional Connection in MMOs

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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Stacy "Martuk" Jones was a long-time news editor and community manager for many of our previous game sites, such as Age of Conan. Stacy has since moved on to become a masked super hero, battling demons in another dimension.